I had to take a break from writing this last couple weeks as we walked through some new challenges here on this side of the screen.

Long story short, my oldest daughter has turned out to have a heart condition, and my mother requires surgery next Wednesday.

Two weeks ago we were waiting in a hospital waiting room to find out what was wrong with our sweet oldest daughter.

Last week we were waiting in a hospital waiting room to see the MRI on my mother’s shoulder and what could be done about it.

This coming Wednesday we will again be in a hospital waiting room as she goes through surgery and then taking her back to our house in SD for 6-12 months until she is fully recovered.

We also quietly skimmed through this last weekend, which was exactly one year since we moved into our house in SD after going through traumatic job loss and store closing, being split between two states as a family, giving up our dream house where we had decided to settle for the rest of our lives, and no longer living out of a hotel 5 days a week.

I have learned a few lessons, and wanted to share them with you.

One—if you face every new trial with panic, you will break. Life is about rolling with whatever comes your way and learning that you WILL survive.

Two—Faith will grow stronger during the hard times, because you realize without it, you are broken and unable to function.

Three-–family is far far FARRRRRR more important than anything else. Where your family is, is where your home is. Tell that to yourself even if you hate everything about where you are located because you will soon realize the truth of it.

Four—If you dont have a support network, get one. You will need it. Friends who pray for you, family who will drive to help you out, people who will drop off meals, etc. We have been SO BLESSED to have that over the years.

Five—accept that life is NOT something you can control. The best laid plans of mice and men, right? They will soon be thrown to the wayside and you will be caught up in walking day after day in faith. And while for some of us we rant and rave and struggle, when you give in and just go with the flow, lots of more awesome things can even happen that what you had planned in the first place. So let go.


I know some of you may be saying that those are pat answers to the real struggles of life. That my attitude is simple and trite and really does not work in difficult situations. Some of you may even be scoffing at my choice to rely on my faith in Christ and leaning on Him rather than just facing facts and dealing with it in my own way.

To that I say—go up to the top tabs on this blog and choose the faith tab. Look under challenges, and encouragement. You need it. I say these things as someone whose life has been lived in the deep dark nasty trenches where it seems like light will never penetrate.

I have walked the hopeless road.

I have chosen my own way.

And where did it lead?

To disaster.

So choose faith. Choose encouragement. Choose learning from what is given to you and turn it around to encourage others. It is a far more rewarding, encouraging, blessed life than where I was before when I was doing things on my own.

And for those of you who have reached out in message or comments and told me how my words encourage you, thank you. Knowing God can take a mess like this and turn it into a message and blessing for others, despite where I am, is a blessing. 😀

Another friend whose life has been marked by challenge for the last 5 years put this amazing comment on her FB wall, and I had to share it. I hope it blesses you today.

“Isn’t it interesting that the olive branch is often seen as a symbol of peace? And yet in order to get what’s most valuable from the fruit of this tree, there is a lot of pounding, crushing and pressing that is required. Those words don’t usually go hand in hand with peace.

Think of how this is so much like Jesus. He brought the world an opportunity for eternal peace. And yet, in order for Him to truly be the “light of the world,” the prophecy of his beating, death and resurrection had to be fulfilled. His greatest hardship became our greatest hope.

And when we’re talking about getting oil from an olive, the same is true. The olive’s crushing produces oil for light. So, the hardest thing the olive endures actually holds the greatest potential to be light for the world.

Is there an area of your life that is pressing in on you and you wonder if anything good will ever come from it? Maybe it’s a comfort to you like me, that the crushing of the olive isn’t its end. It’s actually the way to get what’s most sacred and valuable to emerge. And if we honor God in the midst of hard times, our light does indeed shine in the darkness!” (Lysa Terkeurst)

Many blessing to you and yours,

~Heather <3

PS—I have been hearing this a lot again, and thought you might want to see my response to this common phrase. 😀 Share away. 😀 https://thewelcominghouseblog.com/blog/2014/05/17/where-is-god-when-it-is-more-than-i-can-handle/